Don’t Live and Die with Ignorance

Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw; no date noted

Listening to the dhamma talks are the same as study the Teachings. By turning inwards to the khandha with knowledge and attaining yathābhūta ñāna is quite beneficial (i.e., the knowledge of as it really is or rise and fall) The Buddha was concerned for the monks and giving the 4 types of rain as examples to teach them (from the Aṅguttara Nikāya).

These 4 types of rain are:

① With thundering and not raining
② Without thundering and raining
③ Not thundering nor raining
④ With thundering and raining.

The Buddha taught with compassion and wanted them to practice. The first one is someone has dhamma knowledge but not practice. The 2nd one is someone not has much knowledge but practice intensively what he has known. Let’s say with one of the satipatthānas and getting the result. The 3rd one is someone without knowledge and practice. The 4th one is someone has dhamma knowledge and practice.

You older people must practice like the rain without thundering and raining (most older people were sitting close to Sayadaw). You shouldn’t behave like the 3rd person. The 4th person is a very good one. There are more second type of people. Therefore no need to be in low spirit.

When did the letters start to appear? It arose only after the Buddha was passing away. At the time of the Buddha and before letters arose, there were more people attaining liberation. Wisdom has the powerful quality of penetration.

If we are choosing something in the world, wisdom is the noblest and sharpest thing. If we’re not doing the task of wisdom and have to be born and died in the darkness. This saying is you’ll die with ignorance – avijjā. Also it’s starting with ignorance (i.e., The D.A. process).

King Milinda asked Ven. Nāgasena; “What are the differences between wisdom and knowledge?” (paññā and ñāna). They are the same. Non – delusion (amoha) is also paññā. If you know the 3 characteristics and it’s paññā. Anicca exists and you know anicca, it’s paññā.

Other characteristics are also in the same way. Anicca, dukkha and anatta are objects of conditions – arammanapaccayo, and because of them knowledge on the objects – arammanika arises. Because of dukkha and the knowledge of dukkha arises; because of anicca and the knowledge of anicca arises, etc.

If no – one teaches anicca, dukkha and anatta, paññā can’t arise. (Therefore only a Buddha had arisen and beings had the knowledges). Ignorance covers up the 3 characteristics. We are born with ignorance. I am asking you to do vipassanā is to know the reality.

Therefore never forget that the knowing has to be in accordance with the reality. If the light of wisdom appears and the darkness of ignorance has to be ceased. Also if the darkness of ignorance appears and the light of wisdom has to be ceased. Wisdom and ignorance both of them cease.

What are the differences? Their cessations are not the same. For example, the mind of wanting to eat arises. If you know its cessation and it’s paññā. If you don’t know and other minds continue to arise, it’s ignorance. As e.g., I’ll go and buy this food. For a vipassanā yogi, knowing dhamma arising here and vanishing here is paññā.

With the disappearance of ignorance that you see the existence of impermanence. If not seeing the impermanence, even living for 100yrs is not a good long life. And at near death becomes sorrow, lamentation, etc. are the cause of not knowing (avijjā/ignorance). Therefore die with ignorance and take rebirth in the wok (hell cauldron).

(At here Sayadaw was reminding and encouraging his disciples with saṁvega not to waste their times and did the practice). An earthworm was born in the darkness and died in darkness. It represents ignorance/avijjā. If we are not seeing impermanence yet and living with ignorance.

If I explain and you’ll see it. For example, a sound arises and passes away. If you don’t pay attention to the hearing and vanishing, it’s nice to hear will arise (for a pleasant sound). In the case of paññā also after seeing the vanishing and ceases (the contemplative mind/ñāṇa). But the kamma of paññā bhavana is not ceasing. (The potential energy of ñāṇa). It arises again and you know it.

I am talking about the power of vipassanā ñāṇa with one discerning. Kind Milinda not cleared about this point, so Ven. Nāgasena gave an example. At night wrote a letter under a light. After finished the letter and the light went out. But in the morning went to see the letter and the words were still there. It was like the energy of kamma. Each time with the discerning and the paññā energy are leaving behind with the mind.

Therefore if you continue with the contemplation and seeing impermanence. So discerning of one impermanence is very important. If not you’re an earthworm. Mostly you lose the attention of rising and passing away. Because, it’s covering up with ignorance/avijjā. I am urging you that when still healthy and practice hard to become paññā.

(continued to talk on Satipatthānasaṁyutta) For example, wanting to eat something arises and if you only know the wanting to eat mind, it’s satipatthāna. It’s not becoming bhavana yet. Only after the arising and knowing the ceasing becomes bhavana. Whatever mind arises and observe to know its vanishing.

Vedana are also in the same way. A person with samādhi will know its arising at everytime. Satipatthāna bhavana is called magga (the path factors which see impermanence) Even don’t have book knowledge, you can contemplate to discern it. If you see impermanence and will attain Nibbāna. (Sayadaw continued to talk other things; about impermanence with the simile of dawn time, and then listening to sacca dhamma and wise attention.)

cited from (posted on 2019-04-12)

  • Content of Part 11 on "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of "Dhamma Talks by Mogok Sayadaw"

  • Content of Publications of Ven. Uttamo

This is only an experimental WWW. It's always under construction (proofreading, revising)!

According to the translator— Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.